‘Uncle Buck’ Tries TV Again, This Time at ABC

Uncle Buck TV Show
Image courtesy of Universal Pictures

The 1989 John Candy comedy “Uncle Buck” may be making a second trip to the small screen.

ABC is developing a new spin on the comedy written by Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley for Universal TV. Prolific film producer Will Packer (“No Good Deed”) is exec producing with Cragg and Bradley through the first-look deal that Packer inked with Universal TV last year.

The John Hughes-directed Universal feature starred Candy as a childish bachelor who suddenly has to take care of his brother’s unruly kids.

CBS tried a sitcom rendition of “Uncle Buck” in the 1990-91 season that starred Kevin Meaney. It had a brief run and was mostly notable for spurring outrage among pundits and TV critics for what was then seen as coarse language — the phrase “you suck” — as delivered by a kid to an adult.

ABC’s stab at “Uncle Buck” is the just the latest example of dozens of vintage film and TV titles hauled out of storage for development this year — the surest sign that the TV biz is struggling to balance yearly development needs with the explosive growth of current series production. So many writers and producers are busy working on shows that few experienced scribes have time for the laborious work of developing original ideas.

The mania for film adaptations went into a bizarro tailspin on Monday, when Deadline reported that NBC was setting a deal for a series billed as a 10-years-later sequel to Cameron Crowe’s 1989 love story “Say Anything” from producer Aaron Kaplan. Crowe and star John Cusack took to Twitter a few hours later to bash the idea, which immediately put the project on ice — permanently.

“Uncle Buck” has a script order from ABC.


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  1. jblanch3 says:

    “So many writers and producers are busy working on shows that few experienced scribes have time for the laborious work of developing original ideas.”

    This is bunk. The real reason is that the people and companies that fund these projects want a known property or name. They feel that this will heighten their chances of success. While I’m not in the industry, I’m willing to bet that there are a bushel of original ideas out there, but since it’s not some kind of spinoff, it doesn’t get a second look.

  2. wjm980 says:

    After the Cameron Crowe hissy fit, the producers are wise to pick a movie where the director is dead.

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